The Phoenix Suns’ President of Basketball Operations, Lon Babby, believes his team had a great preseason, which it finished at 5-2.
“We are a summer league and preseason juggernaut,” he told Arizona Sports 620’s Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta, jokingly.
“I thought it was a terrific preseason, not because we won five games — I think that’s good for our confidence and all of that,” he went on.
“But I just think we learned a lot about all our players and implemented a system and did a good job with that.”
Babby went on to talk about the play of new players like Eric Bledsoe, Gerald Green, Archie Goodwin and company. He discussed the Bledsoe and Goran Dragic backcourt and how it worked out. And he mentioned improvements on the defensive end.
But when asked by the show which player he thought had the most surprising performance in the preseason, Babby’s answer was a bit surprising.
“If you limited me to one, I think I’d have to say Miles Plumlee,” he said. “He’s played very, very well.”
In seven games this preseason, spanning 130 minutes, Plumlee managed 32 rebounds, second only to Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris, and eight blocks, which trailed only Gortat among Suns players.
“Miles has been terrific,” Babby said. “You know, rebounding the ball, blocking shots, running the floor. I think that he was a very pleasant surprise.”
Babby later explained how general manager Ryan McDonough targeted Plumlee, who spent his rookie season with the Indiana Pacers, as a player who would fit the team’s needs.
“Ryan saw it in summer league,” Babby said of McDonough’s trip to Orlando to scout.
With the Pacers last season, Plumlee played in just 14 games, averaging just under four minutes per game and accruing 13 total points with 22 total rebounds.
“That’s an example of Ryan’s work as we worked that deal in the summer, getting Plumlee and Gerald Green, both of whom are playing well,” Babby said.